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Minutes pile up for Hawkeyes, a team with no time to waste before facing Rutgers Sunday
Iowa had 4 iron men in tough loss at Michigan State Thursday
“Don’t let one loss turn into two,” is a common sports saying, and with reason.
You dwell too long about a defeat, and it’s harder to pull yourself for the next game. Especially in basketball, where the games are like mile markers, another seemingly upon you just as you’ve passed the one before.
The road wasn’t good to Iowa Thursday night. It lost at Michigan State, 63-61. Hawkeye center Filip Rebraca was asked Friday if he liked being able to get right back at it.
“I’m not so sure when I play 38 minutes,” he said, semi-jokingly. “Mentally, I guess, yeah. Physically, no, not really. But we’ve got to battle through it.”
Rebraca, Connor McCaffery, Kris Murray and Ahron Ulis played all 20 minutes of the second half in East Lansing. That hasn’t been typical at Iowa, and it isn’t typical anywhere.
“I think in a perfect world, each of those guys would have gotten a little bit of rest at least,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said.
“You're in a huddle and you're looking at your guys and you're seeing if they're breathing heavy. Nobody was.
“But then you also evaluate, OK, what’s your defensive intensity look like because that's where it's going to manifest itself, guys getting easy baskets. I thought our defense was really good. That's the only reason I kept those guys out there. They were connected defensively and I thought did a really good job.
“I didn't want to mess with that.”
Rebraca said he got to bed at 4 a.m. Friday. Iowa (12-8 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) practiced Friday afternoon and Saturday for Sunday’s 1 p.m. home game against Rutgers, a team with a 6-3 Big Ten record that has held opponents to 50 or fewer points nine times this season.
“They’re a gauntlet to play against,” Iowa forward Payton Sandfort said. “We handled them pretty well the first time, so they’re going to bring a whole new level of focus and intensity this time.”
“So it’s not going to be easy. We’ve got to get our motion offense working again and just take care of business.”
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